I-Bagnet Resto & Bar (12 Sct. Borromeo Cor. Mother Ignacia, Quezon City)

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Date visited: November 2013

What we ordered:

Open Wanton Tacos (~PhP240) and Bagnet (deep fried pork belly) Value Meal (~PhP170)

 

Taste = 4/5

–          Lyn wasn’t really hungry during this night but I was. We wanted to eat at Napa but when we got to the area, we found out that it had already closed for good. I-Bagnet was the next-door restaurant so we decided to eat there. The Bagnet value meal was composed of the bagnet, rice and fried egg. The bagnet itself was good. The skin was very crunchy and the meat had the right tenderness for a bagnet. It was a good “value meal”. The only downside was that their vinegar was not the kind of vinegar from Ilocos that we preferred (which best compliments any bagnet). The surprise of the night came from the delicious Wanton Tacos. It had tomatoes, sweet ground beef, onions and lots of grated cheese on top of a crunchy wanton taco. It was so simple yet so delicious. We’ve had tacos from other places but for some reason, theirs was just yummy and fun to eat (messy). A dash of hot sauce only made them so much better.

 

Service = 4/5

–          The servers were friendly and made eating there so much better. They provided good service and looked like they enjoyed what they were doing.

 

Ambience = 4/5

–          There was an enclosed area that was good for family or group diners and there was an open area that was more conducive for friends who want to hang out and drink while eating good food. Somehow, it was comfortable on both the indoor and open dining areas.

 

Value for money = 4/5

–          The serving sizes and quality of their dishes were good and the prices were reasonable. Their dining area was welcoming and their service was good as well. We hope they continue or even improve so they gain more regulars.

Click here for their Facebook page.

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House of Minis (Lower Ground Level, Shopsville, Greenhills, San Juan)

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Date visited: November 2013

What we ate:

Mixed Green Salad, Swiss Steak with Cheese Sauce and Beef Barbecue

 

Taste = 3.5/5

–          This particular branch has been established in the Greenhills area for as far as we can remember but not a lot of people really know about this. It’s other branch has been visited more as far as we know. They serve Pinoy-style steaks (in our opinion) and they’re pretty good at it. The Swiss Steak was pretty ok. It had the taste of an irony steak but there’s really no visible blood or pink center at all. It was also a little bit on the tough side. The Cheese sauce and the tomato sauce were good compliments to the flavour of the beef and the sizzling plate was a good idea. The Beef barbecue was okay as well. The beef was also on the tough side while the flavour was more on the sweeter side than spicy or tangy. The salad was okay as well, nothing to really make it stand out from the usual salads.

 

Service = 4/5

–          The servers were well-dressed, well-mannered and ready for action! Although there was a lady that appeared to be the supervisor who for some strange reason was a bit irritating.

 

Ambience = 4.5/5

–          The restaurant’s decor attempts to present a fine dining atmosphere with a western country theme with their wooden furnishings, leather adornments, and animal ornamentation. But to us, it feels very Filipino and was a welcome contrast to the busy mall just outside their doors.

 

Value for money = 3.5/5

–          In every main dish in House of Minis, you will be served complimentary bread, soup, small salad and dessert, usually ice cream. All of these were welcome bonuses and tasted good. This restaurant caters to the Pinoy carnivores but I think their prices are a bit higher than what we expected.

Click here for their website.

Pinac Heirloom Capampangan Cuisine (2nd Level, U.P. Town Center, Katipunan Ave., Diliman, Quezon City)

PhotoGrid_1400334952010Date visited: November 2013

What we ordered:

Ensaladang Pako with Fried Itik Floss (fiddle fern with salted egg, green mangoes, cucumber and tomatoes served with Pinac vinaigrette and topped with deep fried quail floss) (~PhP130), Manibalang na Manga at Hito Ensalada (salad of green mangoes with cucumber, eggplant, red onions and tomatoes, served with fermented shrimp paste and catfish) (~PhP130), Sinigang na Ulo ng Salmon sa Miso (salmon’s head miso sour soup) (~PhP220) and Smoked Tadyang with Yellow Mango Chutney (fall-off-the-bone smoked beef ribs with yellow mango and native corn salsa) (~PhP650)

 

Taste = 4.5/5

–          We were looking for a place to eat in the (then relatively new) U.P. Town Center and we chose to eat at a Filipino-themed restaurant. Good thing we did. Everything was yummy. This must be because the dishes of restaurant hail from Pampanga, where, people have the reputation of being excellent cooks. The Sinigang was definitely yummy and sour to our liking. We believe that the best fish meat is in the vicinity of their heads and the fish parts that were in the soup were definitely good, flaky and flavourful. The ribs were a bit on the tough side but they had much flavour and the chutney was the perfect accompaniment to the dish. The salad had a little too much flavor going on but overall, it was interesting. The fiddle fern was good. The combination of flavors was excellent: sour, sweet, salty, savory and fresh (because of the cucumber).

 

Service = 5/5

–          Even though they were literally full of diners and we were seated near the edge of the restaurant, we still received excellent service and we never felt that we were being neglected.

 

Ambience = 5/5

–          The place had a modern feel with a very clean brown-beige-white motif. There were a lot of interesting pictures on the walls which could easily be conversation starters for those on dates. The place was brightly lit and felt like a very good place to eat and chat with family and friends.

 

Value for money = 4.5/5

–          The service we received and quality of the food were superior in its class. However, their serving sizes could use a little improvement. Having said this, this restaurant can still easily become our favourite in U.P. Town Center.

Sorry, we weren’t able to find any page or website for this restaurant.

Kogi Bulgogi (G/F Greenhills Promenade, Greenhills, San Juan)

PhotoGrid_1399651154538Date visited: November 2013

What we ate:

Bulgogi (Grilled marinated beef) (~PhP340), Bulgogi Ssambap (Grilled marinated beef rice wrap) (~PhP290) and Fried Rice (~PhP90)

 

Taste = 4/5

–          We were looking for a new restaurant to try in the Greenhills Promenade area and we happened to see this Korean restaurant. They served six complimentary appetizers that included kimchi, bean sprouts, sweet anchovies, fried meat balls, sweet potatoes and stir-fried veggies. They were all good and really helped diners who were very hungry. Their Bulgogi was good, the beef was tender and the sweetness was just right. However, there was nothing really distinct about this dish to make it stand out from the other restaurants. Even though we were really in the mood for beef that day, we couldn’t really finish the beef dishes because of taste fatigue which we haven’t really experienced in a long while. The Ssambap had three sauces that you could mix with the lettuce rice beef wrap which were: a sesame-based sauce, sweet bean paste and a chilli sauce. It created different taste combinations that made the meal more interesting but again, we experienced taste fatigue. The Fried rice had a good blending of flavors but the serving size was a little smaller than what we expected. It was also on the soggy side, which we didn’t particularly like. The serving sizes were also smaller than what we expected for the beef dishes.

 

Service = 2.5/5

–          The servers were not very attentive and there was an atmosphere of chaos and confusion among the servers. It also didn’t help that the cooking time was longer than average.

 

Ambience = 3.5/5

–          The dining area was tidy but the spacing between the tables were narrow and it was a bit difficult to move around. Even though only a few people were talking, it got too noisy for comfort.

 

Value for money = 3/5

–          While the dishes tasted fine and the quality was ok, the prices they charged were too much considering what other restaurants of the same cuisine and class were charging. It also didn’t help that the service we received was below average.

Click here for their Facebook page.

Outback Steakhouse (35 E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave, Acropolis, Libis, Quezon City)

PhotoGrid_1398964954557[1]Date visited: November 2013

What we ordered:

Crispy Calamari (~PhP350) and Outback Special (~PhP1000) with complimentary bread

 

Taste = 4.5/5

–          This Aussie-style restaurant has been on our dining plans for a long time already and at the time, we were in the area and hungry. The Crispy Calamari (deep-fried batter-coated squid) was served really quickly. It was still piping hot when we took a bite and it was delicious. The better part of the dish was the salsa. It had tomato chunks, onions, a little chilli and Lyn’s favourite, cilantro. It was one of the best salsa we’ve tasted and it was so good we asked for another bowlful. Lyn didn’t like the tentacles but it was ok for me. The steak looked almost too good to be true. It jiggled a little when we poked it with a fork and it was as tender as it looked. It had the right amount of chewiness almost like a chunk of chewy fondant. The taste was good but for me, it was a bit low on saltiness. I would have preferred a unique sauce for the steak since the A1 steak sauce they had overpowered the taste of their good steak.

 

Service = 4/5

–          They provided ample service and the servers were attentive enough though they weren’t the smiling types, we think.

 

Ambience = 4.5/5

–          The dining area was divided into sections, there was a non-smoking area, a smoking area and a bar, which made it really pleasant for non-smokers and families. The place had neat-looking wooden furnishings, knickknacks all over and Aussie-inspired decor. The floor spacing was also nice and made manoeuvring easy despite the number of tables.

 

Value for money = 4/5

–          The dishes were on the expensive side but the good taste of the food and the quality of the meat made everything worth the price. They could try to improve on the serving size and service to make the whole experience better.

Click here for their website.